Those of you who have been following the latest developments here at Pestcotek – and we hope there are plenty of you! – will have noted that we are proudly expanding the ambit of our services to include Sheffield, Leeds, Hull and Selby. These areas are rich with fascinating history, which enriches our project of expansion not only from an economic perspective, but also culturally. Most recently we featured the city and contingent region of Sheffield, and before that Hull. Today we would like to put Selby in the spotlight. It is a town and civil parish into which we are very pleased to be expanding, not least because of remarkable scope of its history.
As with all towns for which the name ends with ‘by’, Selby was originally a Viking settlement. The original settlement was based on the banks of the River Ouse. Archaeology has revealed extensive remains dating from the Roman occupation. It is thought that the town was originally called Seletun and is referred to as such in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of AD 779. Selby is the birthplace of Henry I, who was the fourth son of William the Conqueror. The famous Abbey was founded for Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and was subsequently supported by the de Lacy family. If you were to visit Selby Abbey you would find the 14th century Washington Window. Incorporated into the design of the window is the heraldic arms of the ancestors of George Washington – the first president of the USA. The American flag – the Stars and Stripes – was influenced in its appearance by this design. The official crest of Selby Abbey is three swans. The story behind this detail is that the Benedict of Auxerre founded the Abbey when he saw three swans on a lake in the area which, for him, represented Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Selby was also the site of an important battle in the English Civil War.
Selby was, for some considerable time, a centre for shipbuilding. Vessels were launched into the River Ouse side-on owing to spatial restrictions. The shipyard of Cochrane and Son launched their last vessel in 1998. A famous trawler launched from that shipyard – Ross Tiger – is preserved at the National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. Most of the shipyard buildings on the Ouse in Selby remain there to this day, but have been converted into commercial premises for small businesses. The cranes employed by Cochrane & Son stood on site until 2001 when, unfortunately, they were blown down by strong winds. An interesting point of fact is that the Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior, was constructed in Selby in 1957.The historical wealth of Selby is based on its relation to the River Ouse, the Selby Canal and the River Aire at Haddlesey. The canal brought trade from Leeds. At one time, Selby was a leader and pioneer in coal mining, featuring some of the most advanced technology in Europe. Wistow Colliery holds the UK record for the tonnage of coal mined in the space of one week: 200 743 tonnes. Selby Complex as closed in May 2004.
At present, the main part of the income for Selby is derived from arable farming and as a commuter town for Leeds, York and Wakefield. Just as Pestcotek is expanding into Selby, the town is itself expanding. The town has seen and is undergoing construction of new houses and shops on the outskirts. Along the riverfront the residents are witnessing a revamp with modern houses and luxury apartments. It is with this in mind that we at Pestcotek look to Selby for the future. Residential expansion and the attendant population increase in turn result in economic development. We are keen to assist residents and business owners with those annoying little problems that arise when our backs are turned away from our domestic and commercial premises. If you uncover a pest problem, or require pest control, don’t hesitate to contact Pestcotek. We’ll stamp out those critters, and we are proud to provide such assistance in a town with such a rich ecclesiastical, industrial and economic history.